"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Fruit & Veg & Crops & Bees

Bees, of course, are not busy just keeping the garden and countryside stocked with lovely flowers they are  essential pollinators of food crops all over the world. 

Some crops are obvious and the connection between them well known;  the Osmia rufa’s help in the orchard which I wrote about in my post “There will be apples” and the Bumblebee’s contribution in “buzz” pollinating tomatoes in greenhouses which I wrote about back in October “A Buzz in Middle C, Bumblebees for Crops”.   But it’s much more, nuts, field crops, soft fruit, herbs and spices and it’s not just honey bees, the solitary bees are there doing their bit and sometimes a very crucial bit! At Wikipedia there is a fascinatingList of Crop Plants Pollinated by Bees”. You can see more crops from  the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center just run down the list and see what you would miss.

Gazpacho,

At the moment in this hot weather we live on gazpacho. It is without doubt one of my very favourite foods and I make it by the gallon. I looked at the ingredients yesterday and thought about bees.
Bee pollinated ingredients: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, coriander, basil, cumin, onion, garlic, cilantro, in short almost all of them.. and I always add honey.

It really brings things home .. I just can’t imagine life without these favourite ingredients! Thank you bees for my delicious gazpacho!

One Out of Every three Bites

We will be showing the “Vanishing of the Bees Film at the exhibition, here is their synopsis:

Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables.  Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables.

So in the exhibition I will be including a few sketches with notes to remind people about the foods we eat and their relationship to bees… sometimes it truly is the only way to their hearts!

almonds copyplums cherries sm  
Almonds, spices, plums cherries

 melon smapple sm jpg

Melons, squashes, cucumbers, apples pears etc

field beansblk berries sm  

Beans of all sort, soft fruits, blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries

mustard and clover sm peppers sm

fodder crops and brassicas, tomatoes peppers .. and more and more and more…. 

5 comments:

Jane said...

I was sent a lovely bee video the other day see http://vimeo.com/11758948 Thought you might like to see it. Jane

Roasted Garlicious said...

good luck on the exhibition, sounds wonderful... your sketches/paintings are as wonderful as ever! have been observing quite a few different bees this year, i know there are some hives close by, but also seems more types of wild ones this year... got my fingers x'd that they do well...

Catarina said...

Hi! I'm a photographer and biologist from Sweden and I love plants. I found your website when I was looking for information about Gardenia and I must say the info on your blog was substantial.

My boyfriend is a tattoo artist and very talented painting aquarelle and art nouveau. I like your paintings. Especially the more detailed ones with the bees. And I like reading your blog.

Regards Catarina

Melanie said...

I posted about colony collapse several months ago. A reader of mine commented that honey bees are not native to north america and are edging out our native bumble bees. Check out this article over on Garden rant.

sharp green pencil said...

Thanks to you all

Jane: its a super video. shame we cant embed it!

RG: Thank you so much, the small sketches are quite fun to do after the detail of the bees.I hope the exhibition will be OK :) I am getting quite a bit of interest now and enquiries for it to travel next year too. Which is nice!

Catarina : very kind of you! The gardenias have been out here these last few weeks ..very beautiful scent.

Melanie: its true the honey bee is an import to the USA but has, to be fair, done a lot of good in its time..like many other settlers :)